Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:31 am

Clubs: Middle Eastern Dance Club

Time: Tues. and Thurs., 3 p.m. - 4 p
Place: Room 266
Sponsor: Lauren Nestuk
President: Nazanin Yousefnejad, Gabi Huffman, Joni Atkinson
Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, faint strains of Persian music fill the 260s hallway. Inside room 266, members of the Middle Eastern Dance club are shimmying their shoulders, snaking their arms and having fun.

The club started more than five years ago when a student asked former Blair teacher Susan Soule to sponsor it. Over the years, the club has undergone significant changes. Two years ago, English teacher Lauren Nestuk took over Soule’s position when Soule left Blair. In addition, the club size has dramatically increased. When the club first started, less than half a dozen students joined. This year, more than 15 students have auditioned to fill the 12 available spots.

Middle Eastern Dance Club members perform at a variety of events throughout the school year. The most important event of the year is International Night. For that performance, club members spend most of the year learning to perform a dance to traditional, classical Middle Eastern music. At other more casual events, such as the SGA Club Showcase or performances at the local YMCA, members often perform a "more upbeat and fun dance" that draws the audience in with its beat, says senior co-captain Nazanin Yousefnejad.

To stay true to Middle Eastern culture, students wear Middle Eastern-themed costumes, consisting of a modest white or black top, a flowy, gossamer skirt and a colorful belt with jingling coins attached. Members get their costumes at an Indian shop in Georgetown.

Unlike many other performance clubs, members make almost every decision in the club. Students in the Middle Eastern Dance Club choreograph their own dances, select their own costumes and choose their own music. “They really do run the club,” sponsor Lauren Nestuk says.

If Interested in joining Middle Eastern Dance Club, please contact Lauren Nestuk.

Club beat by Alisa Lu